It's all well and good to tell people to shelter in place, to say only one family member should be out and about doing the shopping and going on other essential trips. But what about single parents with a young kid?
MaryAnn Fausey Resendez has a 5-year-old daughter, but she's also the only adult in her household. And she has to provide for her family. She has to go out and shop for food every once in a while. And she can't leave her daughter at home. So she's come up with a solution to all those stares and comments she gets when she walks around the grocery store with a child.
She puts a sign on her back that reads, "I am only 5. I can't stay home alone so I have to buy groceries with Mommy... Before you start judging, stay back six feet."
MaryAnn posted this pic to Facebook, where it went totally viral. She wrote, "The sign I made her wear cuz I just know some dumba-- will take a picture and talk s--t on social media not knowing all the facts. FEEL FREE TO SHARE."
Sounds like MaryAnn has a good grasp of the powers of social media. She posted this picture of her daughter to shed light on the struggle of single parents everywhere during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many are trying to handle this thing on their own while simultaneously caring for their kids.
That means they have to take their kids with them when they grocery shop, no matter how dangerous it may be. Even though this was exactly MaryAnn's point, her post still received criticism from people who totally missed the purpose of her post.
This person likely has no idea where MaryAnn lives or what her situation is. Delivery and curbside pickup is simply not available everywhere. There are so many reasons that she might have to physically go to the grocery store with her daughter, and none of them are anyone else's business!
MaryAnn's post was helpful and reassuring for many others who are in similar situations. It's amazing what people feel entitled to say about other people's actions.
Someone spat at this poor woman because she was trying to feed her family. Could you imagine? If anything, people should be offering to help parents who are clearly in a tough spot.
It has gotten to the point where parents internalize guilt about not having a choice, and that's not healthy for anybody. It's easy for people to make judgments about someone's situation when they don't have any actual idea what it's like to be them and to live their life.
If they were in the same situation, they'd be judged for whatever choice they made, too. We're all out here trying to be conscientious citizens and protect the people we love the most.
The least we can do is not harass people whose circumstances we know nothing about. The most we can do is offer support and help for those who are clearly in need.